ConvertKit is NOT Now Seva – Find out the story behind the U-turn on the name change

ConvertKit is Now “Seva”

Want to know more about the ConvertKit Seva name change? Read the following article, taken from the Seva Website, that explains the philosophy behind the name change and also the company’s subsequent decision to change it back.

OK, so it is a bit of a non-story and I am sure will be consigned to the news archives in the months to come.

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ConvertKit Changes its name to Seva – Why?

You’re a creator.

That’s right– you’re a creator even if you don’t think of yourself that way.

You might be a writer, a photographer, a teacher, a chef, a woodworker, a podcaster– the list goes on. But regardless of how you identify yourself, what all of these roles have in common is that they are creators.

And creators want to create.

You don’t want to spend your time on marketing tactics or figuring out how to make what you do turn into money. That stuff just distracts from the real work – the work you love.

All creators experience this tension between time spent creating and time spent turning what we create into money that supports our families. Because without the money, there is no way to earn a living doing work you love.

Our team is no different.

Each one of us could tell you a story about how we felt stuck doing work we didn’t believe in. Or how we spent years trying to get a business off the ground only to be crushed by stress and close it down. Or how we took a big risk and left our 9-5 gig to double down on the dream we just couldn’t put away.

This is personal for us because, while we are a software company, we’re creators too.

So yeah, we could think of our job as just making software but we’d rather think of our job more holistically– as helping you earn a living.

In fact, that’s our mission: We exist to help creators like you earn a living doing work you care about.

From coming up with your first (or next) business idea to making your first product to selling what you make, we’re there in the background supporting you through the journey.

It’s more fun that way, but it’s also our competitive advantage.

There are hundreds of email software you could use to power one of the most important parts of your business: building, connecting with, and selling to your audience. But how many of those companies have gone all in on helping you reach your goal of earning a living as a creator? Not many.

Why is that? Well, for one it’s the harder way to do business. It calls for more heart, soul, and compassion than most tech companies are able to give. This kind of caring is intense in the best ways possible.

And second, they play the same game with the same rules of success. It’s a game of robotic help replies, acquisitions, and price gouging. It’s a focus on quantity instead of quality; on quick turn around instead of investment.

But we don’t play by the same rules as everyone else.

We play by rules that help us help you:

  • Will this help creators earn a living?  When we set priorities, we run them through this single filter. If we have a project on the table but realize it won’t help you earn a living, we cut it.
  • Always invest in building world-class software – Software is the best way we can think of to help you power your business, and we’ll stay focused on building the best email marketing software in the world for creators like you.
  • Help our creators spend less time on email, more time on creating  We don’t do feature wars. If all you care about is features, you might not be the right customer for us. Instead, we focus on the 80/20 features that help you get great email marketing done as fast as possible so you can get back to creating.
  • Education is our marketing strategy – We’re not looking for the next trick to get you to buy our software, we’re investing heavily in the education you need to make a living as a creator. From our blog to courses, to future video and podcast shows, we’re all in on education as marketing.
  • We will always be 100% independent – No investors, no outside capital, just a bootstrapped and scrappy group of people who care.
  • We invest our profits in things that matter – Since we’re independent, we can invest our profit in the people and priorities we believe in most. We invest in profit sharing for the team; an annual conference to help creators build community; storytelling through in-depth documentaries, case studies, and books; giving to local charities that move important causes forward in the communities where we live and play; and of course, we continue to invest profits back in the business to help us get better at what we do every day: helping creators earn a living.
  • We care more  When you email our support team, all you have to do is say, “I need help” and we’ll be tripping over each other to be the first to solve the problem for you. When you want a new feature, schedule a call and we’ll take your request seriously. When you need to learn something new in your business, ask us if we have a resource and we’ll send it right back. When you’re part of our family, we treat you like family.

These rules, well, ConvertKit as a name just doesn’t do them justice. ConvertKit doesn’t capture the mission we’re on to serve you.

We needed a new name. Something that captures how much we care about you and how much you care about serving your audience.

So we’re taking a second chance on a first impression.

As of today, ConvertKit is now Seva.

Pronounced 

 

it means “selfless service,” and we can’t imagine a more appropriate description for how you’re building your business or what we’re here to do as a company.

We’re playing a different game because we believe the future belongs to creators. The creators who believe selfless service is how we all win. And we’re all in on building that future together.

Today is day one all over again. And we couldn’t be more excited to keep serving you.

Let’s go.

– The Seva Team

Seva Changes Its Name Back to ConvertKit – Why the U-Turn

Rather than put it in my words, here is the official statement from ConvertKit’s founder Nathan Barry:

“We listened. We learned. We have a new appreciation for the word seva and we won’t be changing our name after all. We’re sorry for our mistake.

When you become an entrepreneur, you’re taking a leap into the unknown.

Part of that leap is building a sense of self-confidence that will keep you going, even when others don’t believe in you.

In countless situations, that self-confidence leads to huge breakthroughs, big wins, and exciting growth (for you and your business).

Sometimes that same confidence can lead you astray, make you move too fast, and miss the signs and steps along the way.

Sometimes that confidence can lead you to make mistakes.

On July 1st, we announced that we were rebranding and renaming ConvertKit to Seva at our annual conference for creators, Craft + Commerce. Seva originates from ancient Sanskrit and the Indian subcontinent where it has deep meaning in many different cultures and religions.

Within a few days, we started to hear from many of you who had genuine concerns about the name and it’s deep connection to religion and culture for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and more.

You asked about our process for arriving at this name. You started conversations in The ConvertKit Family Facebook group and on Medium asking if we realized the cultural and religious implications of the word we had chosen.

We thought we understood, but it became very clear that we didn’t.

Our response was to listen.

We scheduled calls with customers and non-customers alike, especially those with a personal connection to the cultures or religions who have a deep and meaningful relationship to seva as a spiritual practice.

As we became increasingly aware of our ignorance of the deep meaning of this sacred word, we relied on the generosity of their time, knowledge, and perspective so that we could learn. And in the face of the pain and hurt we caused, they demonstrated to us the true meaning of seva.

Seva is not just a word that means “selfless service.” It’s not just a word that means “serving without the expectation of anything in return.” It is a holy and sacred practice that involves giving generously to others out of love, tied so deeply to spirituality that it cannot be separated from spirituality itself.

By moving forward as Seva, what message would we be sending to the world? Who would we be pushing away from our community, our platform, our team? Who would we continue to hurt in the years to come?

More importantly, what would we be contributing to (and taking away from) the wider culture we want to foster with our voice and platform?

We asked ourselves if we knew then what we know now, would we still have chosen Seva as our name? The answer is no.

If we really believe in our mission to help creators from all backgrounds and cultures earn a living, there is only one way to move forward–as ConvertKit.

We will not be moving forward with Seva as our name.

The word is too sacred and too important to cultures that are not our own.

Thank you for speaking up. Thank you to the creators who spent hours generously teaching what you know so that we could become more educated and understanding (even though it wasn’t your responsibility to help us learn).

We’re sorry for the pain we caused by attempting to change our name to a word we didn’t fully understand. We’re also sorry for the frustration and confusion we caused for ConvertKit users and affiliates in the process.

With kindness and humility, onwards we go.”

– Nathan Barry

Conclusions

All a bit of a non-event I suppose and probably a lot of wasted hours by the ConvertKit team in what turned out to be a learning exercise. They obviously put a lot of thought into the name change but missed some of the interpretations of the word in different cultures.

Some will see this as political correctness gone overboard, but ConvertKit has a global community and prides itself in listening to that community.

Either way, the fundamental strengths of the product remain.  An email automation platform built for creators, bloggers and online marketers, that is easy to use.  I, for one, will still recommend it to my audience whatever they decide to call it.

If you want to try it out for free, please click here. I am happy to help with any questions you may have about the product.

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